Alberto Toro


Social media is abuzz with talk of a UCL run-out for the defender


Éder Militão is banned for Real Madrid's UCL first leg against Manchester City, while David Alaba is doubtful as he shakes off a hamstring injury.

Nacho and Antonio Rüdiger are shaping up as Madrid’s centre-back pairing - leaving Jesús Vallejo as Los Blancos’ only recognised understudy.

This is not lost on Madrid’s fans, who have inundated social media with memes about Vallejo’s potential involvement in the semi-final opener.

Against City in last season’s UCL last-four second leg, the 26-year-old Spaniard performed very well after being brought on in extra time.

That clash went down as one of the Bernabéu's greatest European nights, as Madrid pulled off a memorable comeback to beat the Englishmen.

Vallejo came close to leaving Real Madrid in the summer, but opted to stay at the club despite having little prospect of regular game time.

The Real Zaragoza youth product  has played 87 minutes across five Madrid appearances this season, and could get a run-out against City.

If so, he’ll be up against Erling Haaland. The Norwegian has broken a host of goalscoring records this term, and is the leading marksman in the UCL.

City have found the perfect striker  for their team. In his first season in England, Haaland has racked  up 48 goals in 41 appearances.

Vallejo vs Haaland at the Bernabéu?  It could happen - and Madrid’s fans  are hoping the defender steps up  like he did this time last year.